Ella By Starlight Essay

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Later on, in 1946, Ned Washington would release the song with written lyrics and go on to incorporate the title as part of those lyrics three quarters of the way into the song. In 1947, a version recorded by Harry James and his orchestra would be released to the public. In that recording, there are hardly any solos, the musicians instead performing the song straight forward without variation. The song begins with a rhythm that is carried on by the piano, with occasional violins popping up to declare themselves more and more until the ending, when a soothing acoustic rhythm guitar backs up a hopefully romantic harmonica part. The tempo is never sped up or slowed down except near the end when the violins ease out their final notes, and the pitch…show more content…
Ella’s version is a complete jazz retooling, with a backing piano taking center stage along with a slow drum beat keeping time with her crooning voice. There is a quieter, less booming quality to the backing music, filled with lots of variation and scattering in Fitzgerald’s vocal interpretation of the lyrics. An upright bass fills in the cracks with a consistent chord progression that creates a more upbeat feeling in the song’s structure. Ella’s version is definitely meant for the audience to be dancing along to the groove, rather than quietly sitting in their chairs listening. Tony Bennett’s gentle swing version recorded with his jazz group in 1964 follows this pattern as well; the tone in this version is triumphantly cheerful, as this band plays the song courageously and carefully creates a relaxed, danceable feeling. Backing trumpets and low brass section goes from filling in the background during the vocals to swelling up and taking over for the refrain, then quietly exiting again for the final verse sung by Tony. His voice is much more relaxed in this version, framing the lyrics as more of a casual conversation with a lover than a full blown confession. These two versions transitioned the song from its status as a movie musical and got many other jazz artists interested in covering the song themselves, including Miles

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